Let’s be frank. I’m flying Jetstar to Japan, and quite frankly (see what I did there) Australia’s low-cost airline has been rising to the top in the post Covid Aussie world of budget flights while others, ahem, have struggled. But then I was flying “business.”

I can’t fault it, and trust me I’ve tried. I wanted the check-in staff to be dismissive or downright no-frills grumpy to prove the naysayers right and the flights to be delayed and baggage missing (ok didn’t want that part). Instead I was greeted at Sydney airport like a long lost relative bringing home the bacon, all smiles, how do you do and how can I help? And for the record there was no note against my name saying “journalist” nor “high maintenance” nor “handle with care.” Just “business.”

Jetstar fly to Tokyo via the Gold Coast (9 hours) or Cairns (7.5 hours). I chose the shorter domestic route, Sydney to the GC and the longer international route. It may be because I was booked in for the front of the plane and wanted to lap up every minute of that Business Class gold.

Though it really had to do with the return flight as most airlines flying from Tokyo to Sydney do so with an overnight flight. Fly to Cairns and your layover is in the earlier hours of the morning, fly to the Gold Coast and you’ll arrive at the more civilised hour of 6.30am ready to dodge the high rise shadows on Main Beach as you run a marathon before breakfast at the surf club.

Now, back to Business Class. I had heard the rumblings that Jetstar Business was like Premium Economy elsewhere. It’s not, well not really.

While you don’t get to lie flat with Jetstar (instead a comfortable 38 inch tilt recline with extendable leg rest) you do get all the trimmings including all meals, snacks, beverages and the like. However the 2-3-2 seat layout does mean there’s a middle seat, try not to get that one.

Photo supplied.

For starters, if you book Business Class Max you get Qantas Club access. Though you can  choose to forego “max” and the lounge and save dollars lest you need to pay more for bags.

I’m the kind of traveller who packs for every occasion then wears the same thing for 14 days straight, like George on Survivor. Jetstar Business comes with 30kgs of luggage, but I tipped the scales at 40kgs, so job done.

The Gold Coast International Airport is rather fancy these days thanks to a Hassell-designed redevelopment and I’d suggest you head straight to Wollumbin from local chef Matt Jefferson for all your nut milk and sourdough needs. You’re welcome.

There’s a priority Business Class boarding line which means you get to settle in, sip fizzy wine and play with your amenity pack long before the masses have buckled in. It may not be Gucci, but you do get a reusable cotton tote bag, inflatable neck pillow, eye mask, ear plugs, toothpaste, hand cream, lip balm, pen and take home blanket. Like the Easter Show.

The cabin staff were super friendly and helpful, much like the ground staff, and while I wonder what they put in the water, I realise the current CEO, Stephanie Tully, has a long history of customer service and has clearly been making her mark.

I’ve scored the front row, and not just so I can put snap my boarding pass seat number for Instagram. I’m travelling alone in a cabin filled with couples heading to the ski fields, there’s an empty seat next to me because the entertainment system isn’t working in that seat and the airline won’t give a substandard seat to anyone up the front. So the solo traveller, in this case me, wins.

Speaking of entertainment – to be honest I downloaded three seasons of Derry Girls and a Daniel Craig movie from Netflix onto my device and fell down the binge watch hole. Should I have run out of juice on my device (impossible given every seat has outlets for power) I could have utilised the extensive inflight entertainment and noise cancelling headphones.

Now for the good stuff. Food. I’m one of those weirdos who loves airline food, seriously, loves it. It’s like comfort food to me, always reminds me I’m going somewhere and besides, calories ingested at altitude don’t count. Food wasn’t Michelin but it was fresh and well presented in neat little boxes of goodness. Snacks were a plenty in the galley and drinks free flowing.

The return flight from Tokyo to the Gold Coast was pretty much rinse and repeat. Check-in was a breeze, cabin service excellent and I was woken in the early hours from my slumber to the smell of croissants and coffee. All my flights were on time and all bags arrived including my ski gear. I know, right? The travel gods were shining.


When you crunch the numbers, for skiers and snowboarders Jetstar Business makes sense. If you have discretionary cash and clearly you do if you’re heading to the slopes, then for around AUD$3000 you can get there in comfort without coughing up the bigger numbers of competitor airlines premium and business.

Follow our Japan journey on Instagram Stories here. 

*The author flew as a guest of Jetstar Airlines

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